Sunday, June 30, 2013

A July Challenge

I know, I know. I never wrote a recap on the last day of my MS 150 ride. It will write it in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow is the first day of July.  I am starting up a challenge for my husband and me.  We have both noticed somethings over the past few months.  Two things mostly: our wallet has gotten a little tighter over the summer months and so have our belts. 

I came up with a great way to overcome this. For the month of July, we are going to be eating at home.  That means not going out...as much. We both currently spend our lunch hours going out and, about 3 times a week, we end up going out for dinner.  I often stop for breakfast on my way to work.  This is a lot of money AND a lot of calories.  Just like all the diet gurus say, you should have a cheat day.  So I am allowing us to go out for one dinner, or one lunch, each week.  There are of course exceptions.  If Pat is traveling, he doesn't have the opportunity to eat at home.

My little part of this will be to take on clean eating.  I won't go completely clean.  I will allow myself some leeway such as store bought whole wheat bread and Greek yogurt.  When I focused on clean eating last October, I noticed major differences in how I felt, my weight and even things as increased sense of smell.  Mainly really excited about eliminating soda and sugar. 

I plan on tracking via MyFitnessPal and also using SparkPeople.com. 

I know my main challenge will be planning ahead. Sometimes I just get lazy and I don't feel like making anything after a long day at work.  I will also have to find ways to keep lunches from getting boring. I usually do pretty well with leftovers.   

I have yet to come up with something to reward myself with at the end of this challenge.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From Proctor to Hinckley: A Tale of Two Crashes



I was spending this evening staring at the TV until a thunderstorm rolled through that killed our satellite signal. So I decided to turn off the tube, turn on some music, and write while I listen to the thunder and the rain outside my windows.

I promised to write part II of my cycling adventure this past weekend so hear it is.

We were so lucky with the weather on Friday night into Saturday morning.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the temp only dropped into the lower 50s. Wow, such a change from prior years when the tent and grass surrounding it were covered in frost.  It was definitely a welcomed change.  We were awake and up by 4:30 when everyone else around us started rustling in their tents. I never sleep well on the ground so I did not get a full night's rest but I was up anyway.  Dad and I assessed the weather and dressed appropriately.  There was a chance for rain so we had our rain gear in tow.  We got our teeth brushed and broke down the tent, packing things away. The MS 150 organizers allow each rider two pieces of luggage, which we both utilized. Camping gear sure does take up a ton of room.  The other great thing the organizers do is transport your luggage from Proctor to Hinckley, and then again from Hinckley to our final destination in White Bear Lake.  After we got our baggage on the truck, we decided to skip the lines for the complementary pancake breakfast and get on the road.  The ride didn't officially start until 6:30 but we departed right around 6:00 to beat the crowds.  There were 3,800 riders this year!  That's a lot of people to share the road with.

We were off! The air was a little chilly and the side roads we certainly bumpy.  Because of last year's flooding in Duluth (pictures) we had to delay our entrance onto the Willard Munger State Trail.  This year's high rains still made some of the rivers a sight to be seen.  We finally hopped on the trail in the town of Carlton where our first rest stop was located. Ride organizers place rest stops every 10-15 miles along the route. It's helpful to break down the ride into smaller segments; it doesn't seem so daunting.

The ride was going smoothly until we got to a curvy part in the trail.  Most of the trail is an old rail line so, as you can guess, the trail is pretty flat and very straight. These curvy hills really snuck up on us with no warning.  They were fast and fun. That is until we came up on a group of people stopping us at the top of a hill.  A rider was on the ground off to the side of the trail. Another man was holding his head still and blood was dripping heavily from his nose.  A few other riders were stopped on their cell phones.  We jumped off our bikes and started walking, along with the other cyclists that had been riding near us.  We were told an ambulance had been called and was coming.  That was true.  We were forced off our bikes again, happily, when we encountered the emergency vehicle a few miles up the trail.  We later heard that he was passing another cyclist on one of the uphill climbs and the person he was passing lost control of his bike and swung out in front of him, hitting his tire and causing him to crash.  As far as we heard, he broke his collar bone but was going to be alright. 

At the last rest stop, Dad and I slipped in with a group of riders that said they average about 15-16 mph, just a little faster than our 14mph averages we typically ride.  We were keeping good pace with them for the last 12 mile leg of the ride into Hinckley until we came up on the second crash of the day.  This time though the trail had been shut down with a SAG vehicle blocking the path at an intersection.  We were told there was a multi-rider crash about a mile up the trail and they were not letting us through until it was cleared.  Understandable.  Dad and I waited for about ten minutes before we decided there had to be a detour around the crash.  We asked some of the support volunteers where the highway was.  We found out it was just half a mile from where we were.  We were warned by the SAG that we would not be supported.  I dont think they realized that we never ride supported and that we would be fine.  Dad, another rider from our team, and myself set out on a great adventure down the highway.  We soon found that a lot of the rest of the stuck crowd followed us. We were sure glad we did that. We later heard that riders that stayed waited another hour and a half after we left. The crash made the local news.   We also found out that one of the members of our team was involved but was deemed alright with a concussion.

We soon found our way into Hinckley.  Saturday's festivities were being held on Grand Casino's grounds.  Our team tent was set up with tables, chairs, pig roast and beer.  Oh! That beer certainly tasted wonderful!  I had one as we were walking to the shower trucks (semi trailers set up with shower stalls) and another soon after my shower.  There is nothing as good as a hot shower and a cold beer after riding 73 miles on a bike in one day.  Mom and Alyssa drove to Hinckley to join us for dinner in the tent. There were awards given, more beer drank, and a team picture taken.  Since it was supposed to rain early in the morning, Dad and I opted to set up our tend under the big top.  After the tables and chairs were broken down in the team tent, we set up shop, along with 5-6 other campers that didn't want to brave the rain in the morning.

Join me next time for Part 3.  "From Hinckley to White Bear Lake: Mostly Rain and a SAG Wagon

Monday, June 10, 2013

C.H. Robinson MN MS 150 2013: Part I

Well, I did it! I completed the 2013 MS 150 mile bike ride.  I'm a little achy and a little stiff but it was so worth it AND I had a great time with my dad.   I don't have many pictures from the weekend so I'll just recap the ride.

I drove to the Twin Cities on Thursday afternoon.  I wanted to make sure I didn't feel rushed getting to Century College on Friday afternoon.  After running some last minute errands on Friday morning, Dad and I loaded up the car with our bikes and gear and set off. 
Sporting Team Donaldson jerseys.
This is the first year I rode with a team.  I chose to ride with Team Donaldson because my dad works for Donaldson.  This year, Team Donaldson was the largest team with 278 team members and we raised over $220,000.  I will tell you my individual results at the end of my post. 

My dad and I were lucky enough to get on the first bus to Duluth.  It was great to get to Proctor early so that we could pick any camp site we wanted for our tent.  There are tons of hotel options in Duluth, which is just down the interstate, but we always choose to camp out. There is something about freezing in the cold June air with other strangers snoring around you.  We end up camping in Hinckley too.  We realized while we were setting up our tent that we managed to forget the tent stakes at home.  We figured there was a hardware store in town that might have some that they would sell us. Our camping neighbors had some extras they lent to us so our tent wouldn't blow away in the mean time.  We did find some stakes at the store and, since we were in town, we ventured out to find some dinner. We found that most of the eating establishments in Proctor were shut down, probably due to poor economic times.  We ended up at the Moose Lodge where they had some great people serving amazing hamburger baskets for $5.

On the way back to camp, we picked up our bikes from the corral and stopped to talk to the guys at the Erik's Bike Shop tent about getting my aero bars taped up (which I had forgotten to do before we left.) Since they were so bored (not many riders had gotten into town yet), we decided to have them fit both of us for bike seats for future purchases, as well as adjust our bikes to make sure they will ride great in the morning.  Thanks Erik's!  We were soon back in our tent, all staked down so it wouldn't blow away in the dark.  We settled down for the night at 9pm knowing we would have to get up around 4:30 to start packing to make a 6:00 start.

Stop by tomorrow for the first leg of the ride, "From Proctor to Hinckley: A Tale of Two Crashes".

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time to Find My Feet

*This is a blog entry that has been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks but I haven't had the strength or the discipline to actually type it out. This entry was also going to have a very negative mood until I started writing it and felt it change.*

I've noticed many of my fellow fitness and weight loss bloggers have had similar posts recently.  I suppose, for some of us, it's the time of year. The snow is finally melted, the trees and flowers are starting to bloom.  It's a time of rising out of the dark days of Winter and into cool early mornings of Spring. It's cracking my front door and feeling the warm sun on my face. It's a time to get  It's a time for something fresh, something new.

The nicer weather has allowed me to put some miles on my bike for my up coming ride. I have also put some time into my overwhelming yard, raking last fall's neglected leaves, weeding out patches in the front and the back, and reseeding the dead spots caused by the insane drought last summer.

Through all of this, I have noticed I feel different. I feel sluggish and tired.  These feelings keep me eating out and eating a lot, which makes me feel even more sluggish and more tired.  It's a horrible cycle.  Even though I could do more, my working out has been acceptable.  I have no problems motivating myself to get outside.

Here is the real problem: FOOD!  I have an issue with food. I have an addiction to food! I keep making excuses. "I'm too tired, let's go out. I'm too lazy, I'll just make a frozen pizza. I worked hard today, I deserve this. Hubby is out of town, I'll just stop by Culver's on my way home from work.  Everything is frozen, I'll just eat nothing." Ugh! It's enough to make me want to rip my hair out.  It's enough to notice the numbers on the scale reflect a weight that I haven't seen in five years.  

It's even to the point where it is hard for me to publicize goals because I don't want to disappoint myself or my readers with not following through. It's a horrible feeling to say that but it's oh so true.  I've set so many goals here weight loss wise and have rarely followed through. What would be the difference this time?  It makes me want to cry.  I dont really know if proclaiming my goals here really makes any difference unless I really really REALLY want to follow through on those goals. 

This time I do really really REALLY want to follow through on those goals. Thing is, I'm still not going to post them here until I really get my feet under me.  These goals are for myself.  I am the one that has to live with them and live with not following through on them. 

So here is to finding my feet, putting them under myself and moving forward! Updates to come.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bike MS: A Fundraising Challenge!




I originally planned on writing some posts about my previous MS150 bike rides before I placed a fundraising goal but last night while I was plugging away at some miles on my trainer, I got to thinking that I should pose a fundraising challenge, for myself and you, my readers.

This challenge goes beyond anything I've ever done before.  I had originally set my fundraising goal to $500, just a mere $200 above the minimum required to do the ride.  One of my years, I just paid the minimum out-of-pocket because I couldn't bring myself to ask my friends and family for money. Just now I've upped the goal to $1000.  Is that achievable?  I certainly think so.

So, besides raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research, here is my little fundraising challenge to you.  For each dollar raised, I commit to riding one mile per $1 raised over the course of this summer.  That means, if I raise $1000, I have committed myself to riding 1000 miles on my bike this upcoming season.  I don't know if I have ever put that many miles on my bike in one season!!!  So far, I have raised $225 ($100 of that being my own money).  I'm definitely riding 225 miles!  

My mileage will be achieved during outdoor rides as well as rides on my trainer on rare gloomy days of summer.  Also, I love my spinning class at the gym and plan on logging those classes as mileage too (with a conservative guess of 15 miles per class). If you are willing to support me in this ride, I'm sure you will be looking for proof of my mileage.  Well, I plan on giving it to you. I will post my Garmin data on here and on my Facebook page after each ride. I will also document it with pictures. 

I completed 14 miles on my trainer last night. Click here to check it out.
Only 211 more miles to go!

Please support me!  I'm putting in the work this summer to support Multiple Sclerosis research.  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's More Than a Ride


Ofcourse it's more than a ride when you know multiple people that are suffering with the terrible disease of Multiple Sclerosis.  When I first started doing this ride, I believe it was summer 2002, I did it as a goal to reach.  Essentially it was a weight loss and fitness goal to see if I could actually do it.  My Dad committed to doing the ride with me.  I raised the minimum amount required for the ride and set off on an adventure. The second ride was summer 2006.  I will be writing about those experiences in future posts. I will also write about why I am riding this year and what you can do to help me in my fundraising goals. 

For now, here is my fundraising page.  It's pretty basic but gets to the point. 

What do you know about MS?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

French Fries, Pizza and Hockey Stops

There are really only three things to learn in skiing:  how to put on your skis, how to slide downhill, and how to walk along the hospital corridor.  
~Lord Mancroft, A Chinaman in the Bath, 1974



I took a step out of my comfort box again yesterday to go skiing with some of the staff at work.  I can't say I'm absolutely brand new to skiing. I have now skied (downhill) a total of 4 times over the past twenty years and, while in high school, I was on the Nordic Ski team.  Some if the techniques came back to me fairly quickly. What was incredibly uplifting about the experience I had lastnight was watching my staff that had never skied before.  

Let me go back a little bit here.  My manager and I were trying to come up with some different options for our branch Holiday gathering.  Every year since I have been there (8 now), we have gone bowling.  We threw in ideas of going to Medieval Times, going to a dinner theatre, a comedy club, a concert.  But come on, it's Winter in Wisconsin.  How about doing something outside.  So I threw in the idea of going downhill skiing and Chuck jumped at it.  

I later found out that all of us were inexperienced skiers or brand new to the sport, having never strapped into a pair of ski boots.  I knew this would be interesting if staff was into trying it.  They did want to try it! Yesterday afternoon, we pulled into the parking lot at Tyrol Basin, bought our lift tickets and picked up our rented equipment.  Then came the hill.  

It seems it was easy to take for granted those three previous experiences on the hills.  It took me a moment to remember how to skate, how to make a pizza shape with my skis and snow plow to stop.   I picked up these things easily, my coworkers did not.  We initially did not plan to get lessons for the staff but within moments, it was obvious they were needed.  My hubby, being the most experienced skier, was being gracious in his attempt to teach four newbies how to stay upright on their skis.  

It was exciting to watch them attempted the bunny hill for the first time.  I was impressed with the range of emotions that crossed their faces.  There was nervousness, fear, excitement, embarrassment from falling, and determination to get back up on their skis and do it all over again. There were multiple falls and helping hands to get them back on their feet.  I remember smiles, patience, and words of encouragement.  I remember team building.  This was team building I just didn't expect.  

There will be stories to recall at work come Monday.  I'm hopeful that all of those new skiers will go back for more in the future.  Maybe this will become a new tradition?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A New Experience

After my last post about an acquaintance that has been battling cancer, I decided I need to live each day a little differently. I know I have written before about my anxiety about trying new things, especially by myself. (I'm unable to find the post at this moment.) So, yesterday being Monday, I get off of work somewhat early in the afternoon, sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 depending on how busy it is.  I headed to the gym, thinking I was just going to do a walk/jog on the treadmill.  Well, I looked at the class schedule when I walked in the door and noticed they had a class at 4:05.  It was a class that I had been wanting to take but didn't have the nerve to step into a session. 

Now, my mental talk was all over the place.  Mostly it was "Just do it Amy. Be brave, do it, go out of your comfort zone." I went into the locker room, my nerves high strung as all can be. My mouth was dry, I dressed fast.  I wanted to be early so I could set myself up in the back of the room.  I didn't want anyone to know I was new at this.  I locked my locker and ran upstairs to the room.  I walked in, picked out a place at the back of the room and set my towel, waterbottle, iPhone and keys down.  I looked at what the other women in the room were setting up. I followed their lead. 

I stood in the room, with a step and watched people grab a bar and some weights. Which weights was I supposed to get.  I looked at the rack of weights. Ugh!  How many weights did I need?  I thought to myself for that awkward moment that I should just leave.  I texted Christina, told her I was freaking out.  I then worked up the nerve to tell another girl this was my first time and I had no idea what I was doing.  She politely smiled and said "There was a first time for everyone."  Thank you for being so nice and understanding and not looking at my like I'm an idiot!  She guided me through picking out some lighter weights. She said that she worked with 5 and 2.5lb weights through her whole workout the first few times she took the class.  She said, unless I had been lifting quite a bit already, the weights should be enough and I would feel it during the workout.  She also guided me in grabbing a mat for the bench work we would be doing on the steps.  I thanked her for her help.  I was beyond grateful.  I hope to be able to pay it forward to someone else in the future.

While I waited for the classroom to fill up, I texted Christina back and forth, telling her about my anxiety. It helped settle me down a bit and to get focused on the class.  I would say the room was about half full which didn't surprise me because most people were probably still working at that point in the day. I was happy with my place in the back until the instructor asked if there was anyone new.  I didn't even think and shot my hand up in the air. "Oh please be nice to me." She congratulated me for coming (um ok), had the class give me an applause (please find me a hole to hide in), and then gave me some instructions for using the bar and when to use body weight only with no bar (ok, thanks!).

And class started... and I got through it.  I felt like it was super easy at first and then realized that as my muscles got tired that it really was a hard full body workout.  I knew I would be hurting in the morning. Ofcourse, it was going to be a good healthy hurt.  In my subconscious, I knew the class would be worth it when I walked out of there and it definitely was.  Now just to get my husband to give the class a try....

 (Source)

**If you are curious, the class I tried was a Les Mills Body Pump class.**

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Only 30: A Reality Check

30 years.  30 years old seemed really old when I was 15.  Now 30 seems like the new 25...or something. I've been 30 for over six months. So I'm not writing this because it's my birthday or anything.  I'm writing because 30 is just too damn young to be dying! 

Most people in my age group have lost at least one grandparent but we have time to prepare for those events.  I'm not saying that losing a grandparent isn't hard, I've coped with losing two of mine so far.  Unfortunately, some of us have even lost one or both of our parents. These family members are older and far wiser than us, we know it's going to happen some time or another.  But really, 30 is too young to be dying!

A friend of a dear college friend of mine is 30 and is suffering from cervical cancer.  (I will be not using names to respect the privacy of her friends/family.) At this moment her family and friends are gathered at her bedside to spend a few last moments with her.  This woman and I have met only a few times at social gatherings and our mutual friend's wedding.  Even though I am not close to this person, this situation is really hitting me emotionally.  While on a recent trip home to the Twin Cities, I was able to sit down with my friend to get an update on her friend.  It was intense to see the emotions she was dealing with.  I had similar feelings when another friend's mother passed away four years ago from brain cancer.  There's a sense of not having any control.  And there's the moments when I think about how would I react if I was in their situations. 

How would I deal with it if it was me? I wonder if I have completed the things I wanted to do.  Have I been good enough to myself?  Then I really got to thinking that I don't respect my body enough.  I throw a bunch of junk in my body.  I only have this body for a certain amount of time, and no one knows how long that is. It is time to start taking care of myself better. It is time I spend a ton of time with family and with friends because in the end, they are the ones that will be standing next to my bedside when the end is near. 

I thought I would have more to write on this subject.  The whole thing has scared me. I wanted to think that we were still invincible at 30.  I know I'm not, I just wasn't ready to admit it. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hidden Binges

I have a little confession.  I hide my eating.  Can't believe it?  Why would anyone want to hide the food they eat from the world, especially their binges?  Because if other people didn't see it, it didn't happen.  That's how it works....really. 

I don't really know why I find this so humiliating but it is incredibly embarrassing to admit that I hide my binges. I know it's really a common occurrence among people who binge.  They usually binge in private.  I've even had moments at work where someone is in there with me and I will be more careful about what I am eating but once they leave, out comes the food hardcore.  The other thing is that I am doing it completely consciously.  I think "Please get out of here so I can eat all the food."  I sound like an animal.  It's bad. 

I've been tracking my food again using MyFitnessPal.com. I recently figured out that I could leave my diary so that my friends could see it.  I have found that it really makes me think more about what I am putting into my mouth if I know someone is going to be looking at it.  Sure, I can chose not to log what I ate that day but then how am I helping myself with this problem. I'm not. 

I know I will have great days and I know I will have not so great days.  

So if you want to see what I am eating throughout my days, join myfitnesspal, start logging your food and workouts, and start following me. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Starting "Cold Turkey"

I was going to blog last night but since quitting caffeine on Sunday, I am feeling the withdrawal effect super bad yesterday and today. So I just did some reading and went to bed early.  I even didn't watch The Biggest Loser like I always do.  I just wanted to do an update about what I am doing right now. 

I wrote in the beginning of January that I was done with the scale.  Boy was that a mistake.  Even though I have lost weight since then, 4 lbs, I still felt my clothes getting tighter and my body getting wigglier (not sure if that is even a word). So I got back on the scale and it showed that 4 pound loss.  So I'm going back to what I know works for me. I'm tracking my calories and eating as unprocessed as I can. 

That being said, it is also the Lenten season.  I gave up going out for lunch for Lent.  It has always been a crutch for me to go to Subway and eat a foot long sandwich to curb my stress level over my lunch period.  I'll be figuring out how to deal with that stress in different ways. 

So I quit Subway cold turkey.  (I could insert a pun here...but I wont....Cold Turkey....Subway..get it?) 

But instead of making this quitting thing such a negative thought, I am making it a positive moment by "Starting Cold Turkey".   It was my phrase of the day when I was talking to friends and coworkers about it yesterday.  I was overly excited.  After reading some blogs on Sunday night, I just felt really motivated.  Oh, there's also the trip to the Bahamas thats been booked for six weeks from last weekend and also requires a suit. 

So Sunday, I went to the gym for Body Flow, even though I really didn't want to.  I worked the moves as hard as I could so I could reap the benefits.  I planned my eating for Monday and did pretty well except that I was starving by the time I went to the gym that afternoon.  I did an hour on the treadmill at a 5% incline and another 10 minutes on the rowing machine.  Boy that hurt after doing all the pilates moves in Body Flow on Sunday. 

Sorry to cut the post short. I need to get myself ready for work and prepare my lunch. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekly Good Things: December 31 - January 6

I am going to be starting a new weekly post. So even if I cant come up with anything to post, I can find at least a couple of things each week that went well.

There were a couple for this week.

1. I stopped biting my nails cold turkey on December 29th.  I haven't bitten them since. This is a great thing. I have been biting my nails since I was 2 when I stopped sucking my finger. The last time I quite was in Fall of 2011.  The best post I have about my nail biting can be found here.  I'm happy about having 10 days of no biting behind me.

2. I went to the gym this week.  Spinning on Monday, intervals on the treadmill on Wednesday night, Tabata work out on Thursday.  There was the treadmill on Friday, and some more spinning on Saturday morning. I had some pain in my left leg on Sunday so I took a rest day.  That was 5 days of exercise out of seven. I am ecstatic! I changed it up this week with my workouts. Last year, I was finding that I was just sticking to the treadmill to get ready for my half marathon.  I like doing different things for my workouts. It keeps my muscles guessing what is going to happen and it keeps me from getting bored. 

It was a good week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Done with the Scale

I am done with getting on my scale every day...even every week!  I hate the scale.  I hate the scale when I gain weight but I hate the scale even more when I lose weight.  This seems counter intuitive.  Most people despise the scale when it shows a weight gain. I will not deny that it frustrates me. The gain makes me want to just give up. It's been frustrating me this last week when I have worked out so much but still showed a gain on the scale.  I have to be honest and say my eating has not been on target at all but I wouldn't say that I have been eating any worse then normal so I would think the scale would go down. I am going to blame it on doubling the amount of water I daily drink as well as the muscle gain from my workouts.

But why do I hate the scale more when I lose weight? Because I get content.  I see that lower number on the scale and my brain says "Ok, you lost weight last week, you can take a vacation from watching your calories and have a free-for-all day." Yippie! A free day where I can eat anything I want and I can sit on the couch all day long.  Yippie.

Well that one free day turns into two free days which turns into a free week.  When the time arrives to get back on the scale a week later, I've gained back that lost weight plus then some.  See above for reference to weight gain.

So this is why I am done with the scale, for at least until my annual doctors appointment that usually shows up in March.  That gives me three months of not getting on the scale.  I did get on the scale this morning. 

Last weigh in for three months
I'm sad about that weight. Up 10 lbs since October is pretty lame but I am done with the scale until March.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mr. Pukey and Tabata

No worries. I am not going to write about vomiting. Nor have I actually vomited to bring up this subject. 

On Sunday night I was craving a work out on the spin bike.  I NEEDED it. I hadn't gone to a spinning class since early November. I really NEEDED it!  I needed it because we haven't gotten my bike up on the trainer yet this year. (Yes, I do know that it is already January and the bike should have been put on the trainer in early November when the first snow flew.)  Thank goodness there was a spinning class at 5:30 on Monday morning because I had to be at work by 7:15.  I yanked my body from the bed at 4:30 to make sure I had ample time to get some food in me and get to the gym early enough to secure a bike under a fan. I was thinking class would be full but it was only about half full so I was able to get the bike I wanted.  I was nervous about this class for two reasons. One was that I had never taken a class with any other instructor except Erin.  I was used to her. This was led by someone new to me.  I had no idea how she structured her class.  The second reason for my nervousness was because I had always skipped the gym on the mornings I have to open at work so I wasn't exactly sure if I would be able to make it to the gym and make it to work on time.  Showering at the gym alleviated that problem. 

The first worry did creep up on me in class.  I wasn't sure how this instructor was going to do things but when she said we were going to do adjusted Tabata Intervals, I was lost. She explained what the intervals were.  She adjusted the intervals from 20secs/10secs to 1min/30 secs.  She also switched up the type of hard riding we were doing during that 1 minute on.  We did a warm up, did intervals for most of the hour and did a 8 minute cool down.  She said we should be close to "Mr. Pukey" when we were pushing ourselves hard.  Oh boy! What did I get myself into that morning?  I pushed myself on the work intervals.  I pushed myself harder than I had ever imagined I would push myself at 5:30 am on a Monday morning before work. I did NOT throw up! Maybe I should have pushed myself a little harder?

I felt amazing after that class.  I barely made it to midnight on New Years Eve.  I was exhausted that night. I was happy to have New Years Day off from work so I could watch the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl, even though they did not win.

The "Mr. Pukey" phrase has come back in my thoughts during my other workouts this week. I did get to the gym last night for an interval work out on the treadmill.  I ran 1 minute at a sprint and then slowed it to a jog for another minute and then a two minute walk.  Rinse, and repeat. The gym was packed with the "resolutioners".  NPR was saying yesterday morning that most people stop going to their gym by the end of March.  This is why I go in the morning when I can, it's quieter.  If I go at night, I want to be there before 4:30.

Tonight, I got out of work late and couldn't make my 4:30 cut off time.  I opted to go home. I was going to do the Biggest Loser on our Wii but that wasn't sounding all too interesting.  So I found some interval training via a friend's Facebook page.  Another person that lives in MN to follow.  Here is her Facebook page. She posts most of her workouts on YouTube.  I opted for the "24 Minute Tabata".  There is that weird word again!  It keeps creeping into my life.


I set up my living room, moved the tables, shut the blinds. I wouldn't want any one to see my haphazard moving around in my house trying these moves.  And thank God my husband wasn't home to see the spectacle that was about to happen.  I watched the whole video first, downloaded an app to my phone for interval timing.  I got that app set up for 20/10.  I watched the first set again, started my timer and started going.  Eh, this wasn't horrible. I was able to do the first couple of rounds.  Then it got hard! I mean really hard.  I couldn't finish the rounds. How come she can make them look so damn easy?! How come my belly is too large for me to get my knees up to my elbows like she can? How come I can't drop my legs far enough down for a jack knife? I hate feeling like this.  No wonder people quit when they can't do it.  I worked as hard as I could. I worked until Mr. Pukey was trying to get my attention. I stopped. I felt my heart pounding. I stopped.  I drank some water. And I just stopped, sat, and listening to my phone beep through the intervals....I failed to complete.  Ugh!

But...I'm not feeling defeated.  It should only get easier at some point. Or at least that's what I hear.  There will be a work out at the gym tomorrow and another one some time this weekend.  And then next week, maybe a week from today, I will try this again, without Mr. Pukey.